The True and the False Formosa
Golden Age Colloquium by prof. dr. Michael Keevak (Department of Foreign Languages, National Taiwan University)
The lecture will be a brief overview of the life and career of George Psalmanazar, the man who came to England in 1703 pretending to be a native of Formosa (modern Taiwan).
We will compare his vision of the country to "eyewitness" illustrations of Formosan natives published in Olfert Dapper's Gedenkwaerdig bedryf der Nederlandsche Oost-Indische maetschappye, op de kuste en in het keizerrijk van Taising of Sina (1670) as well as in other places. This will also lead to a related question of how, during the course of the eighteenth century, all East Asians became lumped together into a new racial category called the "Mongolian."
Michael Keevak is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University. His most recent book is Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking (Princeton, 2011). A new book, Embassies to China: Diplomacy and Cultural Encounters Before the Opium Wars, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.
Location: Bushuis (Oost-Indisch Huis), VOC-zaal
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